04 Jul As Pandemic Evolves, New Symptoms Emerge
Does anyone else wake up in the morning, take a few deep breaths and cough to test for COVID? We’re now learning that fever, cough and shortness of breath are not the only warning signs of a coronavirus infection.
As doctors and virologists learn more this insidious disease, they’re also discovering new symptoms that can accompany the more obvious respiratory problems. These new symptoms reinforce what experts around the world are telling us: The coronavirus is still in charge, capable of causing a sustained and often prolonged attack. Even more frightening for those in a high-risk demographic, are the long-term effects of the virus. People who get the disease do not develop an immunity. COVID breaks down our immune systems, and we can catch it again. The virus can leave its patients weak and disoriented.
In the early days of the pandemic, the focus was on treating those who were the sickest
But we’ve become more knowledgeable. “It takes a while for the full range of symptoms to be known when you’re dealing with a new virus,” explains Lisa Winston, M.D., an epidemiologist and professor of clinical medicine at UCSF.
COVID patients are exhibiting a broader range of symptoms
- Some patients are reporting red or purple lesions on hands and feet.
- Doctors are treating people with diarrhea and loss of appetite, sense of taste and smell.
- Dermatologist Esther Freeman, M.D., has identified red- and purple-colored toes that swell, burn and itch. This unusual symptom has been dubbed “COVID toes.”
- Rashes similar to those from hives and chicken pox have also been reported on some coronavirus patients.
- According to the Journal of American Neurology, confusion, delirium, and other neurological symptoms have also been observed in those with COVID.
- There are early reports suggesting that COVID may raise the risk of abnormal blood clotting. Clots reaching the lungs, heart or brain can cause more serious complications, including pulmonary embolism, heart attack or stroke. If the virus enters cells in the heart, it also can cause a heart infection known as myocarditis. This infection may cause chest pain, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure.
- Happy hypoxia. This is a dangerous condition where patients have dangerously low levels of oxygen in their blood, which could cause reduced consciousness. Patients with this condition have been unusually alert and comfortable—completely unaware that they’re manifesting a serious condition.
Response to COVID will be influenced by the strength of our own immune systems
Once COVID reaches the lungs and the bloodstream, it travels around pretty freely. More research will determine how it interacts with cells. Symptoms may be caused by inflammation that results from the body’s immune response to infection—and will vary widely depending on the strength of the individual immune system. While fewer people are dying from COVID, more people are becoming infected. We can minimize the risk by social distancing and wearing masks.
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We are scheduling appointments with clients to create or update the Trusts they created 15-20 years ago—there may be new grandchildren, property and/or investments. Think of those things that would change the inheritance for your beneficiaries.
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This story is based on an article from the AARP, Unusual Symptoms of COVID-19 You Need to Know About, by Rachel Nania